Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Costa Rican Tilapia and Pineapple Rice

I have to admit that one of the kitchen appliances that I couldn't live without is my rice cooker. Cooking rice terrified me, until I tried it in a rice cooker - which makes it so easy and fool-proof! I must say, though, that even though cooking rice is, of course, the primary function of a rice cooker, I probably use ours more often for other functions besides just cooking simple rice. I steam in it all the time (example here), and I've found that it doubles really nicely as a pseudo slow cooker. I love that I can throw things into it to cook up, without having to turn on the stove or messy a bunch of pots and pans. This recipe is a perfect example. The original recipe came from my latest favorite cookbook, and the instructions are to cook the rice first, followed by baking it all in the oven with the fish. I'm sure that method works well, but in the interest of simplicity I decided to try it out all in the rice cooker and found that it works out fabulously well! I put the rice "fixins" all together to cook up, and at the very end throw in the fish with its flavorful marinade to finish it off. (Note: I did try this in my crockpot on high to see if it would work, but it didn't cook up as well as with the rice cooker.)

The end product here turns out to be a sweet and spicy rice and beans, accompanied by a light and citrusy fish fillet. I usually cook up the entire batch of rice (because it's the part the kids eat the most of), but only cook the amount of fish we'll eat with the meal (which is usually two fillets that we split between two adults and two kids). This means we usually have leftovers of the rice, which is something my husband loves about this recipe - he says it goes really well the next day with canned tuna mixed in for a healthy lunch.

Costa Rican Tilapia and Pineapple Rice
6 SERVINGS (of rice - amounts of fish depend on how much you put in)
PREP: 25 minutes           COOK: 25 minutes            READY IN: 35 minutes

  SIMPLE         HEALTHY      YUM
pic name       pic name      pic name


  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (or 3 cups if using alternate instructions)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup tomato salsa
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple, diced
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2-4 tilapia fillets (5-7 ounces each), depending on number of fish servings desired
  • 2 limes, cut into thin rounds
  • salt and pepper


  1. In a large rice cooker (fits 8-10 cups uncooked rice), combine rice, broth, tomatoes, salsa, and beans. Set cooker on white rice setting. (*See alternate instructions if not using a rice cooker.)
  2. At the same time, combine orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and mix well. Place tilapia fillets in the mixture, covering both sides. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. 
  3. After the rice has been cooking for approximately 15 minutes in the rice cooker, open and mix in the pineapple. Then place the tilapia fillets on top of the rice. Pour the remaining marinade over the rice and fish, and place 2-3 lime rounds on top of each fillet. Close the rice cooker and let it continue cooking for the remaining time until the rice and fish are both completely cooked (should be approximately 5-10 more minutes). (*See alternate instructions if not using a rice cooker.)
  4. Serve rice topped with fish (a whole or partial fillet, depending), with lime rounds and additional cilantro for garnish.
*Alternatively, if you don't have a rice cooker: Cook the rice over the stovetop in 3 cups of chicken broth. (Link here if you're not familiar or comfortable with cooking rice - no worries, I know it can feel daunting if you don't do it often ... this is why I love my rice cooker!) Once the rice is cooked, mix it with the tomatoes, salsa, beans, and pineapple and place in a 2- to 3-quart casserole dish. Cover with the marinated tilapia fillets, followed by the remaining marinade and lime rounds. Bake in an oven preheated to 400ºF for 7-10 minutes, or until the fish is white all the way through.


    1 cup rice with 4 oz. fish    408 calories   6.9 g fat   57.5 g carbs    30.6 g protein    6.9 g sugar   

Recipe adapted from Latin D'Lite by Ingrid Hoffmann.

1 comment:

jane maynard said...

this sounds SOOOOO good! pinning to try later!


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